There is another lawn “life” that exists right beneath your feet. This life just happens to be going on quietly underground while families and kids enjoy all that grass lawns have to offer on the surface.
Yes, there is a living, thriving, and breathing abundance of life that lawns support just beneath the surface. From plant and soil processes to arthropods and micro-organisms, grass lawns sustain a wide range of life in urban and suburban neighborhoods all over the world.
We all know the process of plants capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting it into fresh oxygen, but the benefits of carbon capture by lawns do not stop there. As carbon is deposited into the soil, it contributes to soil organic carbon and can have a profound influence on ecosystem sustainability, soil fertility, and soil structure. Urban and suburban cities in many areas of the world are often developed on former agricultural land. As neighborhoods and communities are developed, hundreds of years of organic carbon deposited by plants are stripped off during construction practices so that homes and roads can be built onto the underlying mineral subsoils. Planting grass lawns, trees, shrubs, and other plants is the most effective way to return these disturbed soils into a more native state. The carbon deposited by these plants improves soil structure and aggregation, creates pore space for water and oxygen, and improves runoff capture, but did you also know that it serves as a habitat for a thriving system of soil arthropods and micro-organisms? Check out some of the highlights from recent scientific research below!